CRIME

Charleston attack sparks push against Confederate images, but in the South, they're everywhere

  • The Mississippi flag hangs, with the other state flags, in the subway between the U.S. Capitol and Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. In the wake of a massacre at a black church in Charleston, S.C., a bipartisan mix of officials across the country is calling for the removal of Confederate flags and other symbols of the Confederacy. Leaders of the Republican-controlled state of Mississippi are divided on whether to alter the state's flag, a corner of which is made up of the Confederate battle flag.  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    The Mississippi flag hangs, with the other state flags, in the subway between the U.S. Capitol and Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. In the wake of a massacre at a black church in Charleston, S.C., a bipartisan mix of officials across the country is calling for the removal of Confederate flags and other symbols of the Confederacy. Leaders of the Republican-controlled state of Mississippi are divided on whether to alter the state's flag, a corner of which is made up of the Confederate battle flag. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2008, file photo, tourists pose for pictures in front of the Jefferson Davis statue in the Capitol Rotunda as a statue of Abraham Lincoln towers in the foreground in Frankfort, Ky. The Republican nominee for governor, Matt Bevin, said Tuesday, June 23, 2015, the state should remove the Davis statue but Democratic nominee Jack Conway, Kentucky's attorney general, said he would have to think about whether to remove it. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2008, file photo, tourists pose for pictures in front of the Jefferson Davis statue in the Capitol Rotunda as a statue of Abraham Lincoln towers in the foreground in Frankfort, Ky. The Republican nominee for governor, Matt Bevin, said Tuesday, June 23, 2015, the state should remove the Davis statue but Democratic nominee Jack Conway, Kentucky's attorney general, said he would have to think about whether to remove it. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Graphic shows states where efforts are underway to remove Confederate symbols; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;

    Graphic shows states where efforts are underway to remove Confederate symbols; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;  (The Associated Press)

Calls to remove Confederate imagery are multiplying across the South after the killing of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina.

But the efforts targeting statues, flags and license plates pale in comparison to the legions of monuments and other memorials across the states of the Old Confederacy and beyond.

The sudden push to take down the tributes has made converts out of politicians who long supported or stood silent about such symbols. Longtime opponents say it's past time to remove the painful reminders.

Confederate heritage groups call the outcry an overreaction to photos showing the suspected church gunman holding the rebel flag.